Photo Travelogue :
Read first part - Here!

After crossing Ram Jhula you come into a fork of sorts - go left or right.

Being adventurous, I turned left first. I asked a police-chowki located right there ( see in pic ), to direct me towards swarg-ashram; so, they told me to go ahead nonchalantly. I walked. People oogled at me, some touts followed and tried to stop their bicycle and asked if I wanted some room. I ignored, pretended to know the place ( I didn't know a damn thing :s ). Searching here and there, I finally reached a place that looked like an ashram, and when I went in, they told me point-blank no rooms are given to single-lady-traveller. Damn..I thought, why didn't I think of this earlier. These religious type places are too conservative as well, and the probability of not finding a decent accommodation was too stark and glaring at my face now. But then, where do all those un-married monks go? I wondered. One, had only long bearded-sadhus living, without an inch of space left. Phew! By then, I was feeling hot and tired, with my back-pack hanging like a huge sack of bricks. Totally disappointed, I walked back from where had I came from, and reached the chowki again. This time they suggested me to go right. Those idiots didn't have a clue where swarg-ashram was. How ironic, they call themselves 'parya-tak ( tourist ) police chowki ;s Anyways, I decided to go right this time, and try my luck again. Sometimes, I do regret not booking in advance, but then, that's the thrill of not knowing what'll happen next. Something, I enjoy at the end of the trip whole-heartedly. The 'right' side had plenty of cafes and guest houses/ashrams - it was swarg-ashram! I enquired a few, but they were all packed and some didn't allow single-lady-traveller. One at the end of road had rooms as low as 150 bucks, but, the toilet was shared. I shook a vigorous no! Finally, I got a place at Parmarth Niketan Ashram- do, read about it - Here!

Look for this yellow temple ( landmark ) on right! Yes...that's the right way to go!

View of Swarg-ashram from atop the Ram-Jhula.

The lanes are narrow, filled with people, shops and sadhus wanting to tell your future :-)

The restaurant where I bought my aloo-parathas from, before dashing off to Tehri-Garhwal!

Strolling the Swarg-ashram lanes at night.

Swarg Ashram is a small township located 5 km upstream from Rishikesh, on the left bank of the Ganges, opposite to Shri Shivananda Ashram. It can be reached by two ways - either by crossing river Ganges by boat or by walking through the Ram/Shivanand Jhula built across the river. The ashram was built in the memory of Swami Vishudhanand, the saint better known as Kali Kamli Wala (the saint with a black blanket) amongst the localities. There are lots of ashrams, temples and caves, inhabited by saints, inside the Swarg Ashram. ( wiki )

Address : River Ganges, Rishikesh, Near Ram-Jhula.
Read next part - Here! Stay tuned for all my road, rail, flight, cruise & walk trips.
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